North Korea launches ballistic missile into Japanese exclusive economic zone

The rocket was launched from its northern Jagang province and flew for about 45 minutes before crashing into the water

Pyongyang has carried out a number of missile tests in recent months
Pyongyang has carried out a number of missile tests in recent months

North Korea this afternoon launched a single ballistic missile towards Japan from its Jagang province, according to the South Korean Defense ministry. The launch was also confirmed by the Pentagon in the US and authorities in Japan. 

Yoshihide Suga, the Japanese chief cabinet secretary said the missile flew for about 45 minutes and appeared to have landed in the waters of Japan’s exclusive economic zone. If confirmed, the missile will have traveled further than the missile testing by the regime in early July. 

A spokesman for the Pentagon confirmed the launch adding that more information was still being awaited. South Korea's President Moon Jae-in has convened an emergency security meeting in response to the launch.  

Fears over the North Korean regime’s ability to hit American assets, as well as those belonging to its allies have increased in recent months, after Pyongyang tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile earlier in July - the 14th launch so far this year. 

Despite its ongoing tests, many experts believe North Korea is a long way from having the technological capacity to place a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile. 

Last month, during a visit to South Korea, US president Donald Trump said that “the era of patience is over” with North Korea was over and pledged a “determined response” to the threat posed by the ruling regime's nuclear weapons programme.

The US has installed a missile defence system in South Korea to combat the threat from the North, but the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system (Thaad) has angered many in the region, especially China.

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